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Adobe Evangelist Lashes Out Over Apple's "Original Language" Policy 789

Posted by timothy
from the flash-of-anger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's recent decision to restrict the languages that may be used for iPhone and iPad development has provoked some invective from Adobe's platform evangelist Lee Brimelow. He writes on TheFlashBlog, 'This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to Apple's devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are saying is that they won't allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D.' He ends his post with, 'Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple. Comments disabled as I'm not interested in hearing from the Cupertino Comment SPAM bots.'"
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Adobe Evangelist Lashes Out Over Apple's "Original Language" Policy

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  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @04:52PM (#31802024)

    Steve Jobs Has Just Gone Mad [whydoeseve...ngsuck.com]: "If you need to "originally" write your code in Swahili, while listening to Milli Vanilli, while reclining in a patch of mud, and then you need fifty oompa loompas to translate the Swahili into C, that is none of Steve Jobs fucking business. And the idea, which I am sure is actually the plan, that he will inspect application code to figure out what the "original" language is that the code was written in is just plain pathological."

  • Conclusions? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:08PM (#31802206) Homepage Journal

    People are jumping to too many conclusions here. Apple updated the developer terms, and has not confirmed that they will shut Adobe-compiled apps out. The compile-flash-to-iPhone feature from Adobe is vaporware anyway for now, as Adobe hasn't really shown it that publicly yet. Appleinsider is reporting that the ban is not from spite but for technical reasons [macnn.com]; as cross-compiled code may interfere with the proper multitasking coming out in iPhoneOS 4.0.

    I won't get mad at Apple until it's confirmed that they are shutting it out. Apple selectively enforces it's developer rules (they let Google's app through when it used private APIs), and Apple hasn't commented on the Flash-compiler controversy. No, a ranting Adobe evangelist has as little information as you or I do at the moment.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:24PM (#31802352)

    Except you might be in trouble if you use C# or Boo for your game script since the scripting is build on Mono!

  • Re:Conclusions? (Score:3, Informative)

    by PolyDwarf (156355) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:25PM (#31802366)

    "proper multitasking" and what Apple is doing don't belong in the same sentence.

    If it *was* proper multi-tasking (and the cross-compile didn't do stupid things, of course), there wouldn't be a problem.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:43PM (#31802570)

    If you want to continue that line of reasoning, you can also choose not to buy product Y and use something else.

  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:52PM (#31802662)

    Thats exactly what happened here on /. when Operation Desert Fox started in 1998, Sengan posted a long rant of a story description and then said - comments disabled. I didn't know he was Adobe Evangelist now.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=98/12/16/1930206 [slashdot.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:52PM (#31802668)

    Some things to keep in mind:

    1) I have to imagine that Photoshop must use a significant amount of hand-written assembly code for its various image transformations and enhancements to work as quickly as they do. This is probably very complex code, much more so than the small amount of assembly that exists within Darwin. Porting this would likely take significant time and expertise.

    2) Most other software targeting Mac OS X, regardless of whether it's from Apple or some other developer, is likely written in Objective-C, C, or C++. Most high-level applications written in those languages can be "ported" to another platform with nothing more than a recompilation.

    3) Windows NT supported several different architectures in the past, including Alpha, MIPS and PPC. That was well before Java or .NET. Like in 2), most applications could be ported with nothing more than a recompile. And that was well over a decade ago.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:05PM (#31802766)

    How long do you think it would take MSFT to more to a different chipset?

    Last I checked, Windows currently runs on 3 hardware platforms in various versions (not counting mobile phone versions). Those are: x86, x86-64, and Itanium.

    heck MSFT has a hard time supporting 64bit hardware from 2003.

    It does? That's strange, I don't recall having problems on my x86-64 system... Other than it won't run code written for Windows from 15+ years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:11PM (#31802828)

    As someone who has worked at Adobe and developed on the Mac - trust me - its a labor of love - its not nearly as easy as it is on Windows, Linux and even Solaris.

    You don't develop on the Mac because of your insane sales figures on that platform. You don't develop on the Mac because of the tons of developer help they give you. You don't develop on the Mac because they even like you. You do it because ... you always have and you have customers to support.

    Good example - they would release a patch on 10.4.x - that would break various things like printing (in minor ways - like custom doc sizes start failing), break drivers that work with our products and on and on and on. They never tested a single thing of ours when releasing anything - despite being their largest 3rd party software developer. We never got a single patch ahead of time - ever - to even do the testing ourselves.

    Apple's announcement of Intel OSX caught us blindsighted (we found out the exact same second everyone else did), their announcement of not supporting carbon on 64bit was a surprise (caught mid development of CS4) - especially when they said it would be supported previously.

    Radar bugs are a black hole - ask anyone who has filed one.

    Compare that with Microsoft. They used to log bugs with us on Vista against things like Acrobat 4 - which we hadn't supported in 8 years. That sort of thing was really really really common. But it shows their commitment to making sure that apps from one of their largest 3rd party vendors ran perfectly on Vista when it shipped. And guess what? Despite all of Vista's issues - everything Adobe ran perfectly.

    Microsoft used to pre-emptively notify us when the Windows crash reporter picked up a new problem, including their analysis of the issue. There has been more than one crash report they provided that I've personally seen lead to a bug fix in a patch.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:29PM (#31803036) Journal

    For example, the ipod connector. Could have very easily been mini/micro usb. But it isn't

    No it couldn't. The original iPod had a FireWire port. The second generation needed to support FireWire and USB, because most Macs at the time only came with USB 1.1, which was too slow, and most PCs didn't come with FireWire. It also needed a line out signal to connect to the line out port in the dock. The fourth generation also needed composite video out pins to drive a TV from the dock.

  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:45PM (#31803166)

    Fact is Android Droid are STILL waiting for Verizon to let them get 2.1 of Android. How's that for control?

    You know they did the OTA upgrade for the Motorola Droid for 2.1 went out a month ago right?

  • by dudeman2 (88399) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:04PM (#31803292) Homepage

    Sorry, the ipod connector could not have been mini/micro USB. Unless you have some way to pass analog audio and composite video via USB without an additional set of a/d/d/a. Now, it could have been mini/micro USB PLUS analog line out/ composite out, but that's something else entirely.

  • by immaterial (1520413) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:17PM (#31803386)

    We never got a single patch ahead of time - ever - to even do the testing ourselves.

    I stopped reading here. Either you're a slick troll or Adobe is massively fucking incompetent (I'm not sure which might actually be true and it doesn't really matter). You're seriously claiming Adobe doesn't get the same access to pre-release updates that every other Mac developer gets [apple.com]?

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:20PM (#31803408) Homepage Journal

    The dock connector has audio and control signals which are used for use in external speaker systems and car docks for example. Also video signals for driving TVs. USB doesn't have those.

    You can add them to USB, like HTC did for their mini-USB-compatible connector.

  • by hyphz (179185) * on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:20PM (#31803418)

    No - that's where the doubt is; the Apple license refers to the language in which the program was "originally written". The most common interpretation of that which people are understanding is that it means "what the programmer typed". No matter what code generation process Unity used, there is no way of getting around the fact that the programmer typed C#/UnityScript/Boo, not C/C++/ObjectiveC.

  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:36PM (#31803506)
    Android yes, iPhone no. What are the 7 resolutions you speak of? Care to point them out? I'm excluding tablet-based for the moment. And the 3 I think of are 480x320 (G1, Magic, Eris, Hero, Moment, MyTouch3G), 480x854 (Droid), 480x800 (Nexus One).

    I was making no claim as to which platform is easier to develop for, makes more or less money, or about his argument regarding the iPhone. Just pointing out that the "fragmentation" of Android resolutions is more hype than fact.

    So please explain why you think my comment was disingenuous.
  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:53PM (#31803630) Journal

    Is the Unity3D [unity3d.com] Game Engine threatened? I doubt it. Adobe, yes. Unity, no. I think this Adobe guy is reading between the lines of Apple's announcement. He knows Flash (its code generator workaround, not Flash itself) will be targeted, but not Unity3D. He's only trying to get Apple to admit its hidden agenda, or goad them into banning Unity3D to maintain consistency (which would only go against Apple's interests, Unity3D already has many top selling titles, the code generator from Adobe is not even close).

    It's not just him, Ars Technica has a writeup [arstechnica.com] about the new terms and they felt it was probably targeting Adobe and Google both, by making it harder to do cross-platform development. (Since it basically outlaws many development tools.) Ars lists "Novell's MonoTouch, Unity3D, or Ansca's Corona" as definitely going against the new terms, and "Appcelerator's Titanium and PhoneGap" as questionable (in they might or might not run afoul of Apple's gatekeepers).

    In all honesty the new clause is ridiculous, have you read it? It says:

    3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

    Another thing pointed out (by this developer/blogger [whydoeseve...ngsuck.com]):

    Developers are not free to use any tools to help them. If there is some tool that converts some Pascal or, Ruby, or Java into Objective-C it is out of bounds, because then the code is not “originally” written in C. This is akin to telling people what kind of desk people sit at when they write software for the iPhone. Or perhaps what kind of music they listen to. Or what kind of clothes they should be wearing. This is *INSANE*.

    Ars also pointed out that at its most extreme the wording would ban writing English pseudocode first, because then the application would not "be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript".

    And yes, Unity3d is threatened as it allows you to use C#, which is then compiled down into native ARM assembler. You know, just like Adobe's Flash CS5 was going to let you use Flash to develop iPhone apps and compile it down into ARM assembler. Want to make any bets on whether Apple's consistent on enforcement and bans all Unity3D developed games as well as all future Flash CS5 developed apps?

  • Re:Revenge (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:07PM (#31803710) Journal

    I'd guess they think the answer to that is "yes". I think they are very wrong about that, but it seems they don't value Apple custom. If they did, they wouldn't have delayed the intel versions of CS3 for a year. That definitely cost Apple in people upgrading to intel machines.

    Everything I've read about that is that Apple blindsided Adobe on the change. Adobe found out when everyone else did -- when Apple announced it. It's kinda hard to blame Adobe for the delay when Apple didn't even tell them about it ahead of time. A former Adobe Mac developer has already posted the same info [slashdot.org] in an earlier thread. (It's anonymous coward so take it as you may, but I have read the same thing other places in the past so I believe it.)

  • no rational defense? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:10PM (#31803734) Homepage Journal

    I can think of one - stability.

    If they dont keep control of development of applications, then it will become a nightmare where they will be blamed for every bad app. To the user, the app is the device, and the device is the app.. they dont know the difference and apple gets the blame.

    So, keeping tight reigns on this helps keep that risk at a minimum.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:23PM (#31803824)

    regarding Carbon support... iirc, Apple introduced Carbon due to developer backlash when OS X was released with Cocoa only. Surely Adobe saw the writing on the wall? they had about ten years to port.

  • by ktappe (747125) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:55PM (#31804400)

    As someone who has worked at Adobe and developed on the Mac - trust me - its a labor of love - its not nearly as easy as it is on Windows, Linux and even Solaris.

    We never got a single patch ahead of time - ever - to even do the testing ourselves.

    All developers receive Apple's patches and OS updates ahead of time. WELL ahead of time. If you're going to have an anti-Apple agenda, at least try to sound credible.

  • by prockcore (543967) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:51PM (#31804798)

    As I recall it cost $4000 in 1985 and the GUI OS (with no command line interface) was specifically designed NOT to allow hacking, or at least make it very difficult.

    I think the problem is that most people don't actually remember the first macs. Most people here probably don't even know that you couldn't actually program on the original macintosh. In order to write software for the macintosh, you had to use an Apple Lisa to do the development (even Apple did this).. there were no development tools for the original mac.

  • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:53PM (#31805118)

    Wow *claps* congraz on finding a single comment that might make it seem like Apple did no wrong... thing is a single user comment doesn't equal fact. The reality is that, yes, this bug effected all smartphones. Problem is, only Apple didn't feel the need to patch it before the information about it went live. That means you have every iPhone that could have been attacked (and [cnet.com] was [iphone-chat.org] ). Since this glitch didn't need the user to cause it, many people would have been left in the dark without knowing the problem (my iPhone died, don't know how...). This is the phone's OS's fault since it would execute code it received from the service provider blindly without confirming the actions contained inside. And from as untrusted a source as a randomly sent SMS.

    From this article http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/28/hackers-iphone-apple-technology-security-hackers.html [forbes.com] :

    The new attacks, by contrast, can strike a phone without any action on the part of the user and are virtually unpreventable while the phone is powered on, according to Miller and Mulliner's research. And unlike the earlier exploits, Apple has inexplicably left them unpatched

    Now this article makes mention of the hack being mentioned on Thursday, 2 days later. As mentioned in the article, Apple had known of this problem for more then a month, Apple didn't feel that it's user security was worth addressing until Aug 1st, 48 hours after it went live. [sophos.com]

    Now, phones where hacked, Apple could have prevent these issues but didn't. So much for having your freedoms taken away from your devices 'for your safety and security'.

    If you want more iPhone issues that very well could have been from that hack, try these since they are all from that 48 time frame and all involve iPhones suddenly not working even though the user didn't do anything (signs of that hack in use, though thats the nature of massive computer problems, user doesn't know what went wrong, they know is just doesn't work anymore):

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2101313&tstart=5310

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2100562&tstart=5325

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2099898&tstart=5340

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2097626&tstart=5370

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:43AM (#31805326)

    For most people the benefits of a closed community, screened apps that haven't had viruses or malware, and a wonderful intuitive GUI (IMHO, Android is getting closer but is still not consistent nor as intuitive as iphone or Palm WebOs) and easy upgrades that actually are released to the phones (as opposed to the fragmentation that's Android) is worthwhile. Fact is Android Droid are STILL waiting for Verizon to let them get 2.1 of Android. How's that for control?

    None the less, there is strength in that so-called fragmentation. If I want an iPhone, there's only one place to get one - Apple, and by association, AT&T. If I want an Android device, there are numerous networks and manufacturers providing them. At various price points.

    A co-worker of mine had gotten a G1. I wasn't keen to switch to T-Mobile and I thought the G1 was a bit under-powered. When the Motorola Droid came out, I got that. Another co-worker got a Nexus One a few months after that.

    We all got phones that worked for us. And while they are very different ("fragmented" if you will), we all share pointers on things to do and apps to run. There are rare times when one of us has something the others don't (I really like my LED flash based flashlight app), for the most part, we really haven't felt this "fragmentation" being a barrier.

  • by budfields (1663047) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:45AM (#31805630)

    In this case, Apple's stock price directly reflects that fact that it keeps making billions and billions of dollars, over and over, yearly. This would seem to be a somewhat reliable indicator that Apple is making products that people like, and that that like is holding up over time. A long time.

  • Re:Stupid rules. (Score:3, Informative)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:51AM (#31806280)

    First not allowing interpreted code. WTF does that mean? It's not okay to embed Prolog in your program but you can use HTML, SQL, Javascript, and XML? What about Java bytecode? What about objects that are highly configurable to the point where they are basically scripted? What if I store a game level as a bitmap the user can edit? Very fuzzy ground with little point.

    They are alllowed to be fuzzy. They are a company defining the kind of products they wish to sell in their store, not the legislature making a criminal law. But they're not as fuzzy as your questions make out. Game level as a bitmap is data, not code.

    Now this whole not allowing code written in another language to be translated into Objective-C? So long as the code is valid Obj-C how would they know?

    There may be clues in the UI, such as a Flash app not using the standard iPhone UI elements. But more generally such meta-programming systems will include boilerplate code which will be the same in any app produced, and can be scanned for in the app binary, much like a virus-checker scans for virus signatures.

    How is it different than hand translated code? Is hand translated code okay? Why? This is a completely stupid rule.

    Just because you can think of edge cases doesn't make a rule bad.

    If they are just seeking to avoid slow/suck code why don't they test the app during the review process instead of making stupid rules?

    After having criticised fuzzy rules, you are now asking for something even more fuzzy. A subjective opinion of suckiness.

    Why force people to use suck-ass Objective-C.

    There being a perfect illustration of the subjectiveness of suckiness opinions. Lots of people who have taken the trouble to learn Obj-C love it. Myself included.

    Again how is this different than if I make a program that has an engine that lets you declare and configure objects from saved settings (say in a db or XML) and then initialize the Obj-C objects in the engine from those at runtime? (I've actually done that - seems pretty normal not to hardcode such things.)

    Of course it's normal, and is used especially often in Obj-C/Cocoa programming, so clearly it's not a problem. Again you are confusing code and data.

    Making rules that go against common programming practice that are very close to unenforceable is just stupid.

    Whining on the basis of things you didn't understand is more obviously stupid.

  • by t0p (1154575) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:33AM (#31806504) Homepage

    Okay,so what does a slash followed by a dot mean? I know what ./ is for, because I'm a Linux user. But /.? Please enlighten me.

    According to the fount of all human knowledge [wikipedia.org]:

    The name "Slashdot" is described by [Slashdot founder Rob] Malda as "a sort of obnoxious parody of a URL", chosen to confuse those who tried to pronounce the URL of the site ("h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org").

    There's so "slashdot" disambiguation to explain another meaning. Therefore there is no other meaning!

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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